Philadelphia 76ers rookie Ben Simmons has been unmoved by criticism from the media and fans about his lack of assertiveness during the team’s Media Day. The 21-year old didn’t offer much in terms of answers to questions about this topic, but did say that he is working hard on improving his game.
I think it’s pretty unfair, but I’m not here to talk about the media. I don’t control that. There are things they can say. At the end of the day, my focus is on this team and how we can be better every single day if I’m doing something that’s helping us win, then that’s what I got to do. Every day I come in here and work with these coaches, workout, on the court. And if it shows on the court it will be good for me. My first two years in college I shot under 30 percent from 3 point so now being able to knock that down was a big development this summer, but I don’t care about that. The biggest thing for me is just winning the games and getting better as a team everyday. That’s all I can control right now.
I think you can learn from everybody in different aspects. Obviously with coach I got to learn a lot of stuff from him throughout my first few years, but at the same time you can learn things from everybody. There’s so many great people in this league, so many players that have been here for 10-plus years and you can just take things away from them everyday they play.
The Sixers will start their preseason schedule on October 4th against the Memphis Grizzlies. Their regular season opener is set for October 16th, against former Sixer Jahlil Okafor and the Brooklyn Nets at home.
The reason why this article is particularly interesting is that it isn’t very often that the media acknowledges Ben’s need to improve his game. Most of the articles I’ve come across mention him playing off-ball and needing to play more aggressively in general on both ends of the floor. However, Simmons was also confronted by the media about his weight, or lack thereof.
I think it’s pretty unfair, but I’m not here to talk about the media. I don’t control that. Simmons said when asked if he was disappointed with the criticism regarding his body frame. “At the end of the day, my focus is on this team and how we can be better every single day if I’m doing something that’s helping us win, then that’s what I got to do.
I love Ben’s response here. Even when he appears not confident or assertive, Simmons always does an excellent job of avoiding direct confrontation with the media. Nearly every player in the league would’ve taken a different approach to what Ben did here, and come out looking more confident by comparison.
Ben Simmons is an interesting guy. He has been reluctant so far to put up shots or take anybody one-on-one at this level, but seems to have no issues making sure everybody else on his team is aware of their role. It appears that Ben has a certain set of expectations for his teammates, and he’s not going to alter them until the season starts. I believe it’s been Danny Green who said time and time again that you can’t get any better at something until you take it seriously enough to get comfortable doing it in real game situations. I think he’s slowly starting to get his comfort level with this team, and once that happens, the sky is the limit for Ben Simmons in terms of what he can do on the court.
Today was also rookie Markelle Fultz’s first official day with the team. During his interview session, Fultz mentioned how excited he is to learn from Simmons.
I’m excited to see the chemistry that him and Ben have together on the court, because I think it’s going to be special, but at the same time he wants everybody else around him to do well too. said Fultz about Ben. The way he talks with us, even though we’re young, he treats us like we’re experienced veterans. He’s been doing a great job.
Fultz is also very excited about playing with Joel Embiid as well. Joel is a great player. I watched him play all throughout college and seeing what he did this summer at the Olympics was exciting to see, Fultz said at Sixers media day.